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Our son had Leukemia (Pasquale Koukos)

Do sufferings have sense?

I know something about pain, I experienced it. It came upon my family on May 26th 2008. We were dared to ask ourselves this question. That was the day we got my son’s (Nicholas, 7 months old) analysis results: “LEUKEMIA”. Our life changed all of a sudden. We had made so many plans for the future and in a second the world crumbled all around us. All we had was a terror, pain and deep sadness. We wondered: “Why is this happening to us? Why not to someone else, who doesn’t know Jesus yet? What was that we made wrong?”. Sometime later I got an e-mail from a dear friend. It helped me a lot. He wrote me: “These are the questions every son of God wonders when he’s in need, because plans and thoughts just fall down. You can’t find an answer in the present time. Probably John the Baptist and Joseph had asked themselves the same questions, when they were put in prison unjustly. Surely Paul from Tarsus had the same experience, he suffered during his life. They had understood that God’s grace was enough (2 Corinthians 12:9). Asserting this sentence in our situation was not easy, it was a dark path. When we only have questions but no answers, it is there that God invites us to depend on Him. Believing that whatever happens it’s for our own good it’s a truth that often remains just theory, until you experience it really through pain and tears before God. Nobody knows God’s plan, but everybody can believe God never loses control over our lives, illnesses or death (1 Corinthians 10:13). Our mind has limits! That’s why the anguish for such a little baby goes over all our limits. Let’s recognize our ignorance. We have to admit in the presence of God that we’ve not enough light to understand. Jesus Christ took upon himself on the cross our punishment and sin. Going through the words

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 

wasn’t easy at all! I had doubts most of the times, I felt not good and I thought God hadn’t helped me immediately. I was afraid  God’s Work was huge, and I was very weak. Did God really want my own good? In those moments I knew I wasn’t sincere with myself, because I put aside all the experiences I had already lived with God in which He had helped me and protected me from sufferings. I recognized God had blessed me, that He loved me and helped me and that He had not abandoned me. God was making something new inside of me. This trial was a love demonstration, maybe more than I knew. My life was usually this: I woke up in the morning and I took all the good things I had for granted. But as the difficulties came, in the same moment, I thought God’s love had disappeared. If He’s present, why doesn’t He help me?- I wondered.Wasn’tGod for me?Finally He intervened and my trust in Him rose up again. This suffering was too much, it taught me new things among which the fact I had to stop going after a thousand things: I had to begin with the necessary. Suddenly all I retained important became little and irrelevant. Only my son’s life was important, nothing else. No holidays, no plans, or any earthly thing. I experienced something new and deep in my relationships too. We realized we have a very caring community, many friends, relatives and brothers in Christ who comforted and helped us. We received letters, postcards and emails every day and we felt better. We became aware of how many friends we had, which suffered with us and prayed for us 24 hours a day. We’re still astonished at our church and all the believers who implored  God for us.  This bad experience drew me closer to God, I learned the dependence from God and the trust I have to put in Him.  Suffering has a meaning only if you understand the “substance” of that experience. Otherwise you’ll be lost in your pain, losing the right path. Let’s consider even these experiences as gift from God, because through them our life will be changed positively forever. It takes more than just thinking positive. I regret not having recognized before the connection between sufferings and the change God makes in one’s life using them. I couldn’t see Him but He was right next to us and made us understand it. In the Bible we can read stories about people who faced terrible moments for a big purpose.

Romans 15:4 “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope”.

 

Pain doesn’t come from God and God doesn’t want it, but He uses it as an instrument. Let’s be grateful for all the good God makes in our lives. I am beginning to thank God even for the worst things, so that I’ll grow and mature because through the pain our heart will be better.

Ecclesiastes 7:3 “Frustration is better than laughter,     because a sad face is good for the heart”

 

Pasquale Koukos.

 

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